Common Power Preventive Maintenance Finds

George Ardolino •

The Vertiv Services team takes pride in its ability to successfully guide customers in choosing the right services based on the criticality of their facilities. For example, a hospital data center responsible for managing patient information and supporting life-saving technology may have more critical loads and would require much more critical power protection and equipment than a local library.

Aside from helping customers tailor service solutions to their business needs and goals, our familiarity with the components in our equipment helps customers get the longest lives out of their equipment. Our products have earned a reputation for lasting years and years before needing replacement, but a major part of this longevity is servicing the equipment through regular preventive maintenance (PM) visits from Vertiv Customer Engineers (CEs) and Vertiv Certified Technicians.

During these PM visits, technicians can detect warning signs that may go unnoticed by the untrained eye but could have adverse effects if not addressed in a timely manner.

Here are four of the most common situations where our technicians may detect an issue, how to solve it and what could happen if these potential issues are left unchecked.

Finding Low Voltage Ratings on UPS Batteries

A big part of proper uninterruptible power supply (UPS) battery maintenance is having regular battery checks throughout the year. For companies that do not utilize a monitoring system for their UPS, PM visits are especially useful for detecting low voltage ratings on battery jars. If a voltage rating falls to a low level, the entire battery string is at risk, which can leave the load unprotected. After detecting a low voltage rating, a Vertiv technician can replace the battery jar(s) to help the overall system run at peak performance.

UPS Maintenance: Detecting Bulging Capacitors

A capacitor is a critical component in a UPS, and there are a multitude of capacitors in a typical UPS. The average lifespan of a capacitor is approximately seven years. During a PM visit, Vertiv technicians can track the wear and tear of these components so they can be replaced long before the end of their lifespan. One key “find” is a bulging capacitor, which if left unchecked, can cause serious issues and affect the functionality of a UPS, as well as the uptime for the system.

Discovering UPS Fans in Need of Replacement

During a PM visit, a CE or technician can inspect the fans used in a UPS to see if they have exceeded their life performance and recommend whether they need to be replaced. In addition to risking UPS downtime, fans operating beyond their limits can trigger an alarm, which then must be reported, affecting the site’s overall maintenance performance rating.

Determining the Timeline for a UPS Battery Replacement

When it comes to the estimated 10-year lifespan of a UPS battery, the manufacturer determines this number based on how the battery performs under ideal conditions, which include a clean room, a controlled and regularly monitored environment and temperatures around 77° F /25° C. Since there can be a great deal of variance in how a data center uses its UPS batteries, average temperatures and other conditions, Vertiv CEs work with organizations to begin the replacement process long before the quality of the battery begins to diminish. To help make sure the UPS system functions at peak performance, we typically recommend beginning the replacement process around year four, especially for batteries that get an above-average amount of use.

Learn more about how Vertiv addresses its customers’ UPS and battery service needs.

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